Shutterbugs Move into a Place of their Own!

April 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Hello readers. We know it has been a very long time since we last posted a photo. There is, of course, a good reason. We have been up to something very exciting – we, the self critic shutterbugs, have been busy purchasing a dwelling for ourselves and moving in. Yes – SCSB is now self-hosted!

Please bookmark our new URL – http://selfcriticshutterbug.com, and update your feed subscription to use the new feed URL – http://feeds2.feedburner.com/scsb .

This move means we now have more flexibility on how we want to customize the site; and of course, it adds that touch of professionalism. As always, it takes some time to get adjusted to the new surroundings – it is not different with this blog either. We may take time to finalize on few aspects (like the theme) – but rest assured – you are going to love the final outcome!

And oh! Needless to say, we are discontinuing this wordpress.com-hosted blog, although we will not delete it. So see you over at the new SCSB!

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Fairest Flower of Them All

February 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm (EOS 1000D, raxeffect) (, , )

img_1133u2
Av: F/5.6; Tv: 0.003s (1/400); f: 55mm (35mm-equiv:100 mm); ISO: 200

This was among my early pictures with my new DSLR camera Canon EOS 1000D and was taken when I was trying the capabilities of the camera.

* I like this photo for its contrast between the white flower and the dark background around it. I achieved this by using a very rapid shutter speed, thus ensuring very little light went into the sensor even though it was a very bright sunny afternoon. The main advantage of making the background dark is that we can make away with the other disturbances which might divert the attention from the subject in focus.

* The colour reproduction in other areas is also pretty good. I especially like the tinge of dark-yellow in the flower situated just above the name watermark, towards the bottom-right of the photo.

* The crispness of the focusing in this photo also catches the eye. The transition of the “in-focus” area to the blurred out area is very fast and smooth. It immediately draws attention to the flower.

I hardly did any Post-processing in this photo other than cropping out the edges a little bit.

Having said that, this photo needs to improve in areas like :

* The aperture value should have been decreased a little more or I should have used the Exposure bias, because the flower is a tad too bright in a few areas.

* The withered out flowers around the flower in focus could have been excluded from the photo.

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Maze of Earphones

February 14, 2009 at 9:08 pm (kiranoncemore, S3 IS) (, , , )

Maze of Earphones

Maze of Earphones

Tv: 1/500s; Av: F/8.0; f: 6mm (35mm-equiv: 38mm); Flash used

Processed using GIMP2.

This was a totally experimental snap. I placed the the bunch of entangled and entwined earphones on a large white paper on the floor; and took the snap from right on top of the subject. I was experimenting with lighting conditions as has been suggested to me by many readers. I guess I still have a long way to go as far as getting the lighting and background right goes.

I tried several options while editing the image. My main intention was to get a raw B&W look. While I succeeded in that, I feel the image editing leaves a lot to be desired too. The intention of posting this image is to get advice from readers about how better this image could have been edited. On the lighting conditions front, I will continue experimenting till I get even the basics right.

What improvements would I like to see?

  • This image seems to be overly sharpened and overly contrasted – so 2 points deducted for editing
  • Light distribution is not uniform – the lower area is well composed but the top area is too cluttered – 1 minus point for photograph framing
  • Observing the lower left of the snap, one sees a white earphone wire on a white background – not at all distinguishable. I think I should tried to get the shadow of the white wire over the white paper. That would have increased the appeal several fold – 2 points down for composition.

And thats just the beginning, I am sure!

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Industrial Age

February 8, 2009 at 7:43 pm (DX 7590, raxeffect) (, , , , )

scn_29-u2
Av: F/3.2; Tv: 6s; f: 11.5mm (35mm-equiv:69 mm); Ev : -0.33; ISO: 100

This is actually a very simple photo of an industry at night. It has a very well-balanced feel to it and just gives a feeling of tranquility.
To capture this photo, I used a tripod and a relatively long shutter speed of 6s. I tried an Exposure bias (Ev) of -0.33 in this photo to reduce the brightness and achieve black in certain areas, which would enhance the effect of the lights.

* The use of natural framing in this photo draws the attention of the observer towards the subject in the centre.
* The reflection of lights on the water surface is another plus point of this photo. The smoothness of the water surface was achieved by the long shutter speed. If not for the smoothness of the water, the photo wouldn’t have had the same effect.
* I did not have to resort to much post-processing for this. However, I had to use the clone tool to erase a glaring electric wire within the framing area.

Improvements I would like to see in this photo include

* The improvements in the quality of the photo with less noise, especially in the area of the lights.
* More emphasis on the framing with increased exposure would have made it a little more apparent, but that would have diminished the contrast between light and darkness.
* I could also have tried with a very narrow aperture to give a star-around-the lights effect.

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Flight of Faith

January 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm (DX 7590, raxeffect) (, , , )

Flight of Faith

Tv: 1/125 (0.008 ) s; Av: F/3.2; f: 31.3 mm (35mm-equiv: 189 mm); ISO 140

This is a photo which conveys a feeling… a feeling of faith. This photo was taken in an “Othekola”, a type of “Bhuta Kola“, a religious ceremony in Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka. I like the way the look in the eyes of the worshipers has come out on the photo, conveying a sense of awe, faith and a little bit of fear.

To be frank, while taking this photo I was not concentrating much about the expressions of the people. I was looking to get the motion blur while capturing the fall towards the pile of embers. But, I discovered that adding a bit more shadows and tweaking the levels and saturation gave a whole new meaning and dynamism to the photo. I like the noise in the photo which gives it an old, grainy, spoilt look to the photo.

However, the noise can be viewed as a drawback as well. Another drawback is that people may see it as a loss of a little naturality of the photo because of the effects in Photoshop; but I wanted a different colour tone for this picture and so was experimenting with it.

I would have been better if the subject was better focussed and the background was blurred out a little.

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